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Middle Mile Grants: United Awarded $7.98 Million to Keep Middle TN Connected

United Awarded $7.98 Million to Keep Middle TN Connected

By Kristin Jackson, CFO

As CFO of United Communications, I am delighted to share some wonderful news that will make a significant impact on our community and bring us closer together. United Communications has been awarded three substantial grants totaling nearly $8 million through the Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program. 

This funding is a major milestone in our mission to bring high-speed internet to every home and business in Middle Tennessee. With this support, we can expand our fiber network across ten counties, enhancing connectivity and supporting our ongoing Project UNITE initiative. In this blog, I’ll share what these grants mean for our community, provide details about the projects they will fund, and discuss the broader implications for Middle Tennessee’s connectivity.

Bridging The Digital Divide

At United Communications, we believe that access to reliable internet is a basic need. Our COO, Josh Lynch, puts this into perspective by asking people to “imagine the challenge of getting to the interstate if there were no roads, bridges, or tunnels beyond the end of your driveway.” In terms of internet access, that’s a reality that many of our neighbors are facing every day. 

Through the Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program, United will receive $7.98 million to expand our fiber network to many of our neighbors, giving them access to the same internet speeds found in the biggest cities in the world. With these funds, we will install nearly 267 route miles of fiber optic lines in rural communities through three major projects. 

Project #1

  • Funding amount: $1.78 million
  • Areas covered: Rutherford and Wilson counties
  • Expected impact: This project will construct 58 miles of fiber network, bringing enhanced internet speeds and reliability to residents and businesses in these counties.

Project #2

  • Funding amount: $3.15 million
  • Areas covered: Williamson, Bedford, Franklin, and Moore counties
  • Expected impact: This project will construct 94 miles of fiber network, supporting economic growth and improving the quality of life in these communities. 

Project #3

  • Funding amount: $3.05 million
  • Areas covered: Marshall, Bedford, Moore, and Franklin counties
  • Expected impact: This project will construct 115 miles of fiber network, ensuring that more towns in Middle Tennessee have the connectivity they need to thrive.

What This Means for Middle Tennessee

The expansion of our fiber network will add significant capacity and new routes to towns across the region, including Lebanon, Shelbyville, Winchester, Lynchburg, Lewisburg, Franklin, Murfreesboro, and Nashville. Residents will enjoy faster internet speeds and more reliable service, while businesses will benefit from the enhanced capacity and new routes. These improvements will contribute to economic growth and better access to educational resources.

Advancing Our Mission: Project UNITE

The new infrastructure will further support Project UNITE, our initiative to serve every Middle Tennessean who still lacks access to reliable broadband. Since its launch in 2020, Project UNITE has helped us serve over 20,000 residents and businesses. This year, we’re aiming to add an astonishing 12,000 more residents and businesses! The middle mile grant will help us reach that goal and many others we’ve set for 2024 so that more Middle Tennesseans can experience “the good life.” You can read more about Project UNITE and the impact it has made on the lives of families and communities in Middle Tennessee. 

By working with local partners and securing grant funding, we are making significant strides toward closing the digital divide. Our commitment to serving every Middle Tennessean remains strong, and these projects are a testament to our ongoing efforts.

United Communications: Our Commitment to Connectivity

United Communication’s extensive 2,000-mile network connects over 90,000 locations, and we’re known for our exceptional customer service and network reliability. We’re also proud to be the only local internet company serving businesses and residential customers in Middle Tennessee. Additional grant funding is a significant step forward in our mission to provide high-speed internet to every home and business in our region. We’re excited about the future and remain dedicated to keeping our community connected. 

If you’re eager to discover how our local expertise and commitment can enhance your internet experience, we invite you to check your availability or get in touch with our dedicated team.

About the Author:

Kristin Jackson, CFO of United Communications

As CFO of United Communications, Kristin Jackson brings energy, innovation, and sharp financial acumen to her role. Since joining the company in 2016, Kristin has contributed to United Communication’s growth by leading financial, regulatory, IT, and HR initiatives. She has also played a key role in securing over $83 million in state and federal grants through Project UNITE. Because of her contribution, The Nashville Business Journal awarded Kristin 2021 CFO of The Year. Kristin serves on the Board of the United Community Foundation and the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, she is a member of Rutherford Cable, a women’s professional group in Rutherford County, and a 2022 graduate of Leadership Rutherford. Kristin and her family live in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where they enjoy spending time outdoors together.